Rural administrations inaugurate over 7,500 development projects

February 11, 2023 - 19:5

TEHRAN – A total of 7,509 development projects came on stream in villages across the country by rural administrations.

The projects were inaugurated on the occasion of the victory anniversary of the Islamic Revolution (February 1-11), IRNA reported.

Some 36 trillion rials (about $90 million) were spent on the development projects.

The largest number of projects were related to the improvement of rural roads with 5786 projects, equivalent to 77 percent of all projects.

Creating parks and green spaces, establishing firefighting stations, as well as sports and cultural places were also among the major projects.

More than 37,300 rural administration offices are operating in the country, offering services to about 95 percent of the country's rural population.

The Majlis (the Iranian Parliament) has approved a total of 31 trillion rials (nearly $77 million) for rural development in the budget bill for the current Iranian calendar year (March 2022-March 2023), IRIB reported.

By allocating this amount of budget, the whole credit of comprehensive development plans will reach 42 trillion rials, Akbar Nikzad, head of the Housing Foundation, said in June 2022.

The comprehensive development plans aim to develop rural areas in line with cultural, economic, and social conditions, as well as housing provision for the rural residents and improving environmental services.

“There are around 40,000 villages in the country with more than 20 households, for all of which comprehensive development plans have been approved every 10 years, and after this period, the village comprehensive development plans need to be reviewed.

The plans have so far been reviewed and re-implemented for 4,000 villages with more than 20 households in the country,” he stated.

Currently, 26 percent of the country's population lives in villages, around 39,000 villages have more than 20 households and 23,000 villages have less than 20 households.

Thus, more than 97 percent of the country's rural population lives in villages with over 20,000 households.

In Iran, where villages account for generating 20-23 percent of the value-added in the country, the development of rural areas has been always a top agenda of the government’s activities.

Many efforts have been made over the past couple of years by the government to support villagers and slow down the trend of migration from rural areas to cities.

Rural tourism, agritourism, religious tourism, and ecotourism are alternatives or complementary economic activities that could further stimulate rural development while decreasing rural community dependency on one main economic sector (agriculture, forestry, energy, or mining).

Mohammad Omid, the then vice president for rural development, said in November 2020 that for the first time in the country, the migration of people from rural areas to cities has reached zero.


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